The State relies on artificial intelligence to detect undeclared swimming pools

Although Google is often suspected of tax malice – and accepted, for example, a payment of almost one billion euros to the French state in 2019 – its tools also know how to make themselves which is useful to the tax authorities. Thanks to the study of the aerial view of the American company, the French administration is preparing to recover tens of millions of euros from French taxpayers who failed to declare their swimming pools, reports. The Parisian according to an upcoming report from the Directorate General of Public Finances (Dgfip).

The Bouches-du-Rhône at the pole

Held in nine departments (Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Alpes-Maritimes, Morbihan, Vendée, Maine-et-Loire, Rhône, Ardèche, Haute-Savoie) this experiment was carried out with a consulting firm specializing in in digital Capgemini which is based on the development of software capable of large-scale processing of aerial views to compare them with cadastres. A type of artificial intelligence in the service of tax officials that led to the “discovery” of 20,356 unregistered swimming pools after several months of changes to avoid, for example, the assimilation of areas disabled, blue background, to swimming pools. Among the pilot departments, the Bouches-du-Rhône department is the champion of undeclared swimming pools, with 7,244 irregular pools, followed by the Var with 3,809 future regularizations, according to the data which is collected by Dgfip. Satisfied with the results, Bercy announced that this technique will gradually be extended to all French departments from September and will generate tax revenue of 40 million euros in 2023.

A satisfaction Philippe Laget, CGT public finance delegate from Bouches-du-Rhône, seeks moderation. “We are not against artificial intelligence and support such as aerial views if they are used to go to the field”, explained the unionist who fears a long-term suppression of the body of surveyors. “The management report shows that 94% of taxpayers who received a letter confirmed the tax nature of their swimming pools, but the letters were sent during the summer, and the complaints began to come in,” he get angry He also pointed to a relative “tax injustice”, with “a reference model built in the 1970s”. Because according to the law, if a swimming pool is buried, semi-buried, repaired or ground or placed on a concrete slab and has an area of ​​more than 10m², it is taxed. “Dated legislation that does not take into account the evolution of the market, like the kit swimming pool”, considers Philippe Laget. “Less durable, they should be taxed less,” concluded the tax official.

A few more holes in the racket

Also, the system seems to be less efficient for some municipalities. In the east of Marseille, for example, “the software detected only 30% of the swimming pools that were built and saw a person sent to the field”, raised Philippe Laget. The fault, one imagines, is that there are more wooded surroundings and more intimate swimming pools. Finally, the software based on the characteristic blue and green colors of swimming pools, you may soon see yellow coatings appear.

France has almost 3.2 million private swimming pools, half of which are buried, according to a 2021 study commissioned by the Federation of Swimming Pool Professionals. A booming market: 86,000 in-ground pools were built in 2021, compared to 70,000 in 2020 and 55,000 in 2019. An expansion accompanied by relative democratization, since 2021, 24.7% of in-ground owners pool the employees, workers. or farmers, an increase of 10 points in four years. In this sociography of buried swimming pools, executives and business leaders have 41.6% followed by retirees (33.7%).

Eventually, aerial data may also replace land cadastral data. With the consequences of living areas considered in taxes, as long as the roofs have overhangs.

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